Jerk seasoning spice blends can kick up both the heat and the flavor of almost any dish.
If you’re looking for a spicy, earthy, and savory seasoning recipe, then look no further than this ultimate jerk seasoning recipe.
The first time I tried using jerk seasoning was for a Psych party we threw for my wife’s birthday one year. On the show, Shawn and Gus are big fans of jerk chicken – you know that’s right! And since we were having a ton of Psych-related foods on the menu (including a whole lot of pineapple), I dabbled for the first time in making jerk chicken.
This is a very versatile seasoning, similar to the blackened seasoning that I posted a few months ago. There are a lot of similar spices, but jerk seasoning includes a lot more earthy flavors from cloves, allspice, and cinnamon.
This is one of my favorite ways to season meat, poultry, and seafood. I’ve used it in several of my recipes and have shared my method with several friends who have also enjoyed the results. There is no better way to say – I want to give you an awesome recipe to spice up your next cookout and get the whole family excited about jerk seasoning.
Choose the Right Spices
The right spices are essential to the perfect meal.
Without them, there isn’t usually a whole lot of flavor. Spice also helps to set the mood of the meal. And with this recipe, you can instantly add the specific flavors of Jamaican jerk to almost any dish.
For jerk seasoning, the mix needs to include allspice and some kind of pepper. All of the other flavors are added in to help round out and balance the flavor profile. In typical Jamaican jerk, Scotch bonnet peppers are typically used. But that one is a little spicy for most since it is closely related to the more commonly known habanero.
Also, Scotch bonnet powder is not widely available – though in the world of the internet you can find it online. Since we need a dried and powdered pepper to include in this seasoning mix, I have made a few substitutions. I use a mix of ground cayenne, paprika, and chipotle to include some of both the fruitiness and heat that peppers bring.
Try to include fresher spices in your mix. If you do not frequently use up all of your herbs and spices, then they may become stale and lose much of their signature flavor.
Set the Heat Levels in Homemade Jerk Seasoning
Some like it hot.
But others don’t. And you likely know which category you land in. Or the category others that live in your house enjoy most. I tend to like a bit more heat than the rest of those I live with.
And that is one of the best reasons to make your own homemade jerk seasoning mix. You can easily adjust the recipe below to include more or less of the spicy heat in the seasoning mix that is provided by ground peppers.
Smoked paprika is typically very sweet even though it is ground peppers. So you shouldn’t need to change out any of this pepper to make it less spicy. Though you can also find some specialty spicier versions of smoked paprika if you want to turn the heat up. Be sure to use smoked paprika though, for that extra punch of smoky flavor.
Cayenne pepper is what adds the majority of the heat to the spice mix. So this is the easiest one to adjust up or down depending on your own preferences. If you are thinking about changing the spice level, remember that you can always add more cayenne but it would be much more difficult to balance out having too much.
Chipotle pepper adds a bit of heat along with a ton of smoky flavor. I love, love, love the flavor of chipotle powder in almost everything. So I would not suggest removing any of this from the recipe. See my recipes chocolate chipotle chili con carne, chipotle hot honey, and spicy chipotle crema for evidence of this love.
How to Use Jerk Seasoning in Recipes
Use this seasoning to make jerk chicken, jerk ribs, jerk shrimp, and so much more.
Jerk cooking is typically done by rubbing the seasoning onto the meat along with a bit of oil. Traditional methods typically used smoking fire pits to cook everything and today a grill would most replicate that experience. But that shouldn’t make you feel limited to only cooking that way.
I’ve also used the crockpot to make some jerk chicken thighs
It’s like adding a little heat and savoriness for a tasty change. You can also simply use it in place of other hot spices like cayenne pepper or chili powder for a more complex flavor.
I really like making my own seasoning mixes, labeling them, and keeping them on hand for quick access to a bunch of spices that complement each other well. Plus, a well-stocked kitchen will likely have most of these herbs and spices on hand already.
So why not make yourself a mix? Get all the recipe details below and make this jerk seasoning right now!
How did yours turn out?
I’d love to hear when you try out this jerk seasoning mix! Take a pic of your food and share your success with me by adding it to your Instagram stories or feed, and tagging me @doyouroux, or by using #doyouroux.
Plus, leave a rating to let me know how you liked the recipe. It helps me out a lot to know how things worked out… or didn’t.
The Ultimate Jerk SeasoningCourse: Sauces and CondimentsDifficulty: Easy
Here’s the ultimate jerk seasoning recipe that’ll kick your spice game up a notch. Add smoky, sweet, savory, and spicy flavors to your food.
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl thoroughly until well combined
- Store it in an airtight container or shaker and use it to rub and season food
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